(Continued from Part 2…)
Straight from the Horses Mouth
Ultimately, what comes across from a (relatively!) brief survey of the range of archaeological, historical and etymological material are the following commonalities:
- Widespread distribution of archaeological evidence for horse activity, iconography and ritual associated with high status figures and burials in late prehistoric Europe.
- Widespread attestation of horse motifs, symbolism and metaphor associated with sacral and ancestral kingship/inauguration in late antiquity/early medieval Europe.
- Widespread ecclesiastical condemnation of horseflesh and equine attributes in later medieval literature
- Widespread ecclesiastical adaptation and transformation of horse/kingship motifs & traditions in sources pertaining to secular royal authority and legitimacy.
In terms of depicted pre-christian ritual associated with royal inauguration, certain motifs and cultural components appear frequently:
- Outdoor assembly/meeting/burial locations
- Public performance & display; power, authority, legitimacy
- Horse/King sacral & symbolic union; association, attributes, metaphor
- Horse sacrifice & consumption
- Communal feasting and drinking
- Large cauldrons/containers/receptacles to facilitate communal participation
- Reiteration and renewal of royal/tribal prosperity and fortune